Delino DeShields, Jr. hits two home runs in return from fractured cheekbone

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Great news here.

As you may recall, Astros prospect Delino DeShields, Jr. suffered a fractured cheekbone when he was hit in the face by a pitch on April 18 during a game with Double-A Corpus Christi. Well, he made his return to action last night. And it was pretty impressive.

DeShields, who ended up missing three weeks as a result of the fracture, homered in each of his first two-bats. He told Josh Jackson of MiLB.com after the game that he didn’t have any fear about getting back in the batter’s box.

“I was really relaxed. A lot of people would tell you that after getting hit in the face, they’d be nervous about getting in the box again. Not me. I was like, ‘You and me, let’s go.'”

While the injury was quite scary looking, things could have been much worse and DeShields has remained unbelievably optimistic during this entire process. It’s great to see him back this quickly and here’s hoping this will prove to be a minor speed bump on the way to a productive career.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.